There are times that you just have to leave Jerusalem
in order to see something special.
A performance of Tosca at Masada
is really something to see.
Operas are usually about
the stars and their voices,
and the actors on stage.
Giacomo Puccini’s opera Tosca,
produced by the Israel Opera Company,
is being performed at Masada in the desert.
The seating is constructed in the desert sand,
and stands stories high.
The support pipes inside are amazing.
It is hard to show just how big the stage is.
Stage left, there are stairs.
Do you see them now?
They are under that giant statue.
The stars have a hard time hearing the music
since the stage is so large,
and use special microphones.
From the top of the seating area
there is a view of the Dead Sea overlooking the vast food court
and the huge parking areas for buses.
These are not jobs for those with fear of heights.
During the day workers have to be careful of the heat.
Operas are usually filled with drama.
Tosca, set in Rome in the year 1800,
is full of
Floria Tosca, a celebrated singer, did not have an easy life.
But this stage is also filled with young faces,
and beautiful music,
led by talented Israeli conductor Daniel Oren.
At this dress rehearsal, he repeatedly interrupted
and sang as he conducted the precise way
he wanted this masterpiece to be staged.
The Italian lyrics of this tragic opera
are translated into Hebrew and English.
The production is big and beautiful.
But at the end of the day,
it is all makeup and make believe.
This “tortured” actor can smile in his dressing room,
while the audience winds their way back home,
slowly on the road along the Dead Sea.
More than a show, it is an experience.